[Tweeters] Kittitas County, May 17, 2014
paul.webster at comcast.net
Sun May 18 14:42:59 PDT 2014
Yesterday, May 17, Barbara and I joined Martha Taylor for a trip to
Kittitas County. We had temps from the low 50's at Snoqualmie Pass to the
mid 70's in Yakima Canyon. Our trip list totaled 77 species. In a quick
stop at the pass and 3/4 of an hour at Hyak, we found Band-tailed Pigeon,
Vaux's Swift, Rufous Hummingbird, Warbling Vireo, Steller's Jay, American
Crow, Common Raven, Tree, Violet-green, and Northern Rough-winged Swallows,
Chestnut-backed Chickadee, American Robin, Varied Thrush, Yellow,
Townsend's, and Wilson's Warblers, Dark-eyed Junco, Brown-headed Cowbird,
plus Mallard and Barrow's Goldeneye at the Hyak STP, and a Great Blue
Heronover I-90 nearby.
At the marsh along the lower end of the road to Stampede Pass we got great
views and song from a MacGillivray's Warbler and Hammond's Flycatcher, and
then added Red-breasted Nuthatch and Western Tanager to our list, plus had
a quick look at a disappearing Red-breasted Sapsucker.
In Cle Elum our first view was of scores of Evening Grosbeak near the U.S.
Forest Service Office, and then we went to the Northern Pacific Ponds,
which we think are one of the best spring venues in Kittitas County. We
added: Canada Goose, Osprey, Turkey Vulture, Northern Flicker, Pileated
Woodpecker, Western Wood-Pewee, Pygmy Nuthatch, House Wren, Western
Bluebird, European Starling, Cedar Waxwing, Orange-Crowned, Nashville,
Warblers, Spotted Towhee, Chipping, Song, and White-crowned Sparrows,
Black-headed Grosbeak, Red-winged Blackbird, Bullock's Oriole, and American
After a stop at the Pioneer Coffee Roasting Company in Cle Elum (and
Sparrows), we drove to Ringer Loop Rd south of Ellensburg. There we had
great views of Sora, and added California Quail, Red-tailed Hawk, Virginia
Rail, Killdeer, Mourning Dove, Black-billed Magpie, Barn Swallow,
Black-capped Chickadee, and Yellow-headed Blackbird.
At the BLM site at the junction of Umtanum Creek and the Yakima River it
was after noon and the birds were quieting down. Just across the railroad
tracks we found our Yellow-breasted Chat murmuring and whistling quietly,
then a Bewick's Wren sang nearby, and a Canyon Wren sang half-heartedly
from the slope above. Further up the canyon we watched a Sharp-shinned
Hawksoar high overhead, and an American
Kestrel perched on a rock above us. We also saw Rock Wren, and Lazuli
Bunting. As we headed back down the canyon a Belted Kingfisher flew past
near the Yakima River.
A short distance down Yakima Canyon we saw a Bald Eagle and stopped at
Milepost 10 to watch 2 Prairie Falcons on the cliff, while a Western
Kingbird hawked insects from a snag, and Brewer's Blackbirds walked about
in the parking lot.
Just over the Yakima County line we watched a Golden Eagle standing in a
shallow cave high across the river as a Prairie Falcon made a few
ineffectual strafing runs at it. There were lots of Cliff Swallows hawking
insects above the river and about seven Bighorn Sheep clinging to the
On Umtanum and Durr Roads we added Rock Pigeon, Mountain Bluebird, Sage
Thrasher, Brewer's Sparrow, and Western Meadowlark. Then we stopped briefly
at Umtanum Creek where we found Red-naped Sapsucker.
paul.webster AT comcast.net
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